"Continuing Anglican" Churches - We would argue the most consistently traditional or "classical" Anglican churches.

Continuing Anglican Miscellany

"Anglican Realignment" Churches (ACNA, AMiA, and others) - Conservative but markedly less traditional than the Continuing Anglican Churches.

Reformed Episcopal Church - Currently part of the Anglican Realignment but these days much more like the traditional Continuing Anglican bodies.


1662 Book of Common Prayer Online

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A Living Text

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Akenside Press

American Anglican Council

American Anglican Council Videos on the 39 Articles


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Anglican Bible and Book Society

An Anglican Bookshelf (List of recommended Anglican books)

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The Book of Common Prayer (Blog of Photos)

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Classical Anglicanism:  Essays by Fr. Robert Hart

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(The Old) Continuing Anglican Churchman

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Earth and Altar: Catholic Ressourecment for Anglicans

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Faith and Gender: Five Aspects of Man

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Jesse Nigro's Thoughts

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Meditating on "Irvana"

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O cuniculi! Ubi lexicon Latinum posui?

The Ohio Anglican Blog

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Rebel Priest (Jules Gomes)

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The World's Ruined


To All The World

Trinity House Blog

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When I Consider How My Light is Spent: The Crier in the Digital Wilderness Calls for a Second Catholic Revival



The Babylon Bee

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Ponder Anew: Discussions about Worship for Thinking People


Black-Robed Regiment

Cardinal Charles Chaput Reviews "For Greater Glory" (Cristero War)

Cristero War

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Jim Kalb: How Bad Will Things Get?

The Once and Future Christendom



Christians in the Roman Army: Countering the Pacifist Narrative

Bernard of Clairvaux and the Knights Templar

Gates of Nineveh

Gates of Vienna

Islamophobes (We're in good company)

Jihad Watch

Nineveh Plains Protection Units

Restore Nineveh Now - Nineveh Plains Protection Units

Sons of Liberty International (SOLI)

The Muslim Issue

The Once and Future Christendom



Abbeville Institute Blog

Art of the Rifle

The Art of Manliness

Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture

Church For Men

The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity, (Leon Podles' online book)

The Counter-Revolution

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Joffre the Giant: Excursions in Christian Virility


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Tim Holcombe: Anti-State; Pro-Kingdom

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Throne, Altar, Liberty

Throne and Altar

Project Appleseed (Basic Rifle Marksmanship)


What's Wrong With The World: Dispatches From The 10th Crusade


Numavox Records (Music of Kerry Livgen & Co.)




A Defense of the Doctrine of the Eternal Subordination of the Son  (Yes, this is about women's ordination.)

An (Extended) Short History of the Diaconate

"Buckle Your Seabelts": Can a Woman Celebrate Holy Communion as a Priest? (Video), Fr. William Mouser

Essays on the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood from the Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth

Faith and Gender: Five Aspects of Man, Fr. William Mouser

Father is Head at the Table: Male Eucharistic Headship and Primary Spiritual Leadership, Ray Sutton

FIFNA Bishops Stand Firm Against Ordination of Women

God, Gender and the Pastoral Office, S.M. Hutchens

God, Sex and Gender, Gavin Ashenden

Homo Hierarchicus and Ecclesial Order, Brian Horne

How Ordaining Women Harms Ministry to Men, C.R. Wiley

Let's Stop Making Women Presbyters, J.I. Packer

Liturgy and Interchangeable Sexes, Peter J. Leithart

Male-Only Ordination is Natural: Why the Church is a Model of Reality, Steven Wedgeworth

Ordaining Women as Deacons: A Reappraisal of the Anglican Mission in America's Policy, John Rodgers

Priestesses in Plano, Robert Hart

Priestesses in the Church?, C.S. Lewis

Priesthood and Masculinity, Stephen DeYoung

Reasons for Questioning Women’s Ordination in the Light of Scripture, Rodney Whitacre

Streams of the River: Articles Outlining the Arguments Against the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood ,

Traditional Anglican Resources

William Witt's Articles on Women's Ordination (Old Jamestown Church archive)

Women Priests?, Eric Mascall

Women and the Priesthood, Catholic Answers

Women Priests: History & Theology, Patrick Reardon

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                  Theme Music:  Healey Willan - Missa brevis No. 2 in F Minor


"Buckle Your Seatbelts": Can a Woman Celebrate Holy Communion as a Priest?

A talk by Fr. William Mouser, Rector of St. Athanasius Anglican Church, Waxahachie, TX, Orthodox Anglican Church.  Fr. Mouser presented this at our OAC Clericus last weekend.  Please visit Fr. and Barbara Mouser's web site, The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

The religious left cares nothing about any of this, obviously, but the so-called conservative Anglican advocates of women's ordination are so totally oblivious to the deep theological basis for ordaining only godly males to clerical office -- with its *cosmic implications* - which Fr. Mouser describes here.  They will have a lot of explaining to do before the Great Throne of Judgment, but the explanation will not suffice, and they will find themselves eternally ashamed.  God be pleased, what we know from I Cor. 3: 12-15 will apply to them. :(

It's and hour and seven minutes, but I encourage you to make some time to view it.

(Fr. Mouser warned us to "buckle our seatbelts", because the "P      word", among other things,  was coming.  It was one of the most powerful presentations I've seen.)


Do Not Miss This Sermon

It was delivered during Morning Prayer at our Orthodox Anglican Church clericus this weekend, which was held at St. Athanasius Anglican Church in Waxahachie, TX, by the Rt. Rev. Robert Todd Giffin, Ordinary of the Diocese of Mid-America, APA. St. Andrew's Theological College and Seminary conferred an Honorary Doctorate upon him during this service. He has important words for the Continuing Anglican Church.

The video was orifinally hosted by the SATCS Facebook page.


In Orbán’s Hungary, Christ is King

"To not only proclaim the Christian foundation of one’s country but actually rebuild the nation according to Christian principles was bound to raise the ire of the jaded secularists who are successfully presiding over Europe’s dying post-Christian culture."

Know hope for a new Christendom.


A Comment From A Priest. . .

on the article by Emily McGowin referenced below:

I read the article by Emily McGowin. The diocese she is in is run by Todd Hunter. Bishop Hunter is a product of the Vineyard/Calvary Chapel movement. He was received into AMiA in 2008 and made a Bishop in 2009. He came into the ACNA in 2012. His understanding of Anglicanism is nil. I watched an interview he gave around the time AMiA made him a Bishop. He freely admitted to not understanding the sacraments. One comment that stands out was how he still did not understand the need of confirmation. (He was a priest at the time). The AMiA parish in which I watched this interview with AMiA clergy and laity was then called Holy Trinity in Pensacola, Florida. It is now called The Mission. I was newly priested and the only one to vocally challenge the thought of letting this man be in charge of anything in the Church. Some of his other theology was also terrifying. So her theological ignorance, maybe willful ignorance, is honestly arrived at due to her theological "father". In the article Ms. McGowin takes partial quotes attributed to St Gregory of Nazianzus (she gives a very vague reference hard to research), Eph. 5:22, and Galatians. She confuses salvation with function and makes great leaps in logic and reason. How she did not hurt herself in the strain is amazing. For full disclosure I am a priest in the ACNA, the REC in particular. The level of theology shown by McGowin is typical of the ACNA. I second Fr. Little, if you have a choice between the ACNA and the Continuing Churches in your location, go with the Continuing.  I fear the ACNA due to the embrace of non Anglican and in some cases non Christian theology is becoming white washed sepulchres. And for that I grieve.

While I cannot confirm all the specifics in this assessment, it is true that Bishop Hunter was received into the AMiA in 2008, made a bishop in 2009 (!), left AMiA for ACNA in 2012 and is representative of all that is wrong in the Anglican Realignment.   The Diocese of the Churches for the Sake of Others (C4sO) is apparently named after a "ministry" he created before he was received into the AMiA ("Church for the Sake of Others").  It all speaks volumes. 

So this deacon/"scholar" from C4sO simply advances all this pathology in her article today at Anglican Pastor.

Like I said, steer clea


The Anglican Pastor Blog and Women's Ordination

An Anglican Pastor blog article published today, If Women Can Be Saved, Then Women Can Be Priests, is representative of why I removed this blog from my list of reputable Anglican online sources. "If women can be saved, then women can be priests." Talk about a whopping non sequitur of an article title, and when you dig into the content of the article you'll encounter a shameful piece of theological legerdemain as well. Her argument only mimicks that of the small but vocal nest of feminists I encountered when I was in the Orthodox Church. The fact of the matter is that there is zero, zilch, nada support in the Fathers for women's ordination. It's why they never ordained one.

The article is written by one Emily McGowin, a deacon in the oddly-named "Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others", one of the virtual dioceses of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).  Her bio there, as elsewhere around the Web, reports that she "is a teacher and scholar of religious studies and a theologian in the Anglican tradition."

Well, first of all, the "Anglican tradition" knows nothing of the ordination of women to the ranks of clergy, deacon, priest or bishop.  The ordination of women in Anglican churches is a late uncatholic monstrosity, dating back only to the 1970s. 

The blog's founder, Fr. Greg Goebel, is apparently pro-WO, though this disclaimer is given at the head of the article:

Editor’s Note: Anglican Pastor does not take a site-wide position on women’s ordination. We do, however, require both clarity and charity. The piece below meets our standards. We ask that your responses to it do so as well.

The fact, however, that Anglian Pastor has chosen to give her a forum is damning enough. It doesn't matter that he allegedly allows opposing views.  If you put some uncatholic thing out there as something to be seriously considered, your disclaimer is meaningless from a Catholic point of view, and Anglicans claim to be Catholic, something that is evident not only from Anglicanism's theological history but also from the fact that Anglicans pledge this when they recite the Creed every Sunday: "I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."  The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church does not ordain women and never will.  The issue simply is not up for discussion, the protestations of Neo-Anglicans notwithstanding.

With respect to their protestations, Mrs. McGowin's Neo-Anglican view is representative of the theologically and ecclesially troubled movement known as Protestantism.  One of the pathologies of the Protestant Reformation is that it eventually came to embrace pluralistic theologies, quite in accordance with its principle that well-meaning scholars could arrive at differing stances in their quest to discover "new light breaking forth from Scripture" and hence could posit new understandings that should be classed as adiaphora. The Protestant theological academy thus supplanted the authority of the Fathers and the Church's bishops.  That this is so is evidenced in the article, where the author cites the pro-WO ACNA theologian Will Witt, who warmly speaks of "PhD Anglicanism".

However, as Newman remarked, "To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant." There is nothing truly traditionally Anglican or Catholic in this article.  Those who are interested in becoming authentically Anglican should steer clear of Realignment Neo-Anglicanism, and should look to Continuing Anglicanism instead, where the Catholic faith is held and where, accordingly, we recite the Creed with integrity.


Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons?

A five-part article written by an Orthodox blogger in response to Steven Wedgeworth's argument against the use of icons back in 2013. Wedgeworth's argument is seemingly based at least in part on Bishop John Jewel's "Homily Against the Peril of Idolatry and the Superfluous Decking of Churches", one of the Homlies approved in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion.  As the blogger shows, and as I've suspected is the case generally speaking in the early Reformers' apologetic uses of patristic material on all sorts of matters, the employment of the writings from the Church Fathers is often highly selective.  Add to this that the typical Calvinist exegesis of the pertinent texts (what Wedgeworth calls "the earlier Biblical testimony") is shoddy in the extreme (accounting for why it was never accepted by Lutherans or high-church Anglicans) and you have a situation that leads to the conclusion, per E.H. Browne and others, the the Book of Homilies deserve only our general assent. 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5


Against Modernity: Liturgy as Quiet Resistance 


"Orthodox" Hoplophobes

So, the manifestly left-wing "Public Orthodoxy" publishes this in response to the latest spate of gun violence:  The Byzantine Origins of Gun Control.  A representative jewel from this specious apology for disarming the American citizenry:

It would be difficult to overstate the significance of the Byzantine emperor Justinian for both Christian and political history because, more than any previous Christian ruler, he integrated Christian precepts into imperial legislation. Whether one looks favorably upon the Byzantine model of Church/State “symphonia” or prefers a Jeffersonian separation of Church and State, every modern formulation of Christianity in politics is, in one way or another, a response to Justinian’s legacy. Even the current debate on gun control was anticipated by a Justinianic law preventing citizens from owning weapons.

Justinian’s Novella 85 strictly forbade the sale of weapons to citizens. Only small knives and domestic axes were exempted from the regulation. The ancient Romans had previously forbidden the possession of weapons by citizens within urban areas, but the preface to Novella 85 highlights an explicitly Christian orientation in the formulation of the new and more comprehensive law.

Novella 85 begins: “Calling upon the great God and Jesus Christ, our Savior, and invoking His aid, we strive to keep our subjects, whom God has given to us to govern, from all damage and harm, and prohibit fights, which, undertaken through thoughtlessness, end in slaughter, and bring double penalty—that which the combatants bring upon themselves and that which the law visits upon them for their madness.”

Put simply, Justinian believes that it is his God-appointed responsibility to protect the welfare of citizens. He further believes that he can best ensure the welfare of citizens by criminalizing the sale of weapons to citizens. Novella 85 remained in effect for the final 900 years of the Byzantine empire.

Predictably, its author, George Demacopoulos, "the Fr. John Meyendorff and Patterson Family Chair of Orthodox Christian Studies and Co-Director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University", leaves out important historical data about pertinent Byzantine law, which I cited in a 1997 Maryland Law Review article I co-authored with David Kopel entitled Communitarians, Neorepublicans and Guns: Assessing the Case for Firearms Prohibition:

[405] In an effort to end the practice of relying on foreign mercenaries, the Byzantine Emperor Maurice handed down the following directive circa 579 A.D.: "We wish that every young Roman [subject of Byzantium] of free condition should learn the use of the bow, and be constantly provided with that weapon and with two javelins." (Strategikon, reprinted in I The Art of... War in the Middle Ages 178-79 (C. Oman trans., 1924), cited in Deno John Geanakoplos, Byzantium: Church, Society, and Civilization Seen Through Contemporary Eyes98 (1984)).

In the ninth century, Emperor Leo VI urged, in essence, the creation of a popular militia skilled in guerrilla warfare:

We therefore wish that those who dwell in castle, countryside, or town, in short, every one of our subjects, should have a bow of his own. Or if this be impossible, let every household keep a bow and forty arrows, and let practice be made with them in shooting both in the open and in broken ground and in defiles and woods. For if there come a sudden incursion of enemies into the bowels of the land, men using archery from rocky ground or in defiles or in forest paths can do the invader much harm; for the enemy dislikes having to keep sending out detachments to drive them off, and will dread to scatter far abroad after plunder, so that much territory can thus be kept unharmed, since the enemy will not desire to be engaging in a perpetual archery skirmish. (Tactica, reprinted in I The Art of War in the Middle Ages 179 (C. Oman trans., 1924), cited inDeno John Geanakoplos, Byzantium: Church, Society, and Civilization Seen Through Contemporary Eyes 98-99 (1984)).

This footnote occurs in a section of our article that sets forth how the right to keep and bear arms came to be enshrined constitutionally and which was historically connected both with the right of self-defense and the duty to defend one's homeland against invaders and tyrants (or "enemies foreign and domestic", as our Oath of Allegience names them):

The Origins of the Second Amendment

The right to keep and bear arms in America is rooted in both English common law and the philosophy of natural law that the Framers viewed as superior to the common law. Historian Robert Shalhope observes that the Framers drew upon state constitutions setting forth rights rooted in nature as well as in the traditional rights of Englishmen as sources for the content of a national bill of rights.[401] Shalhope writes:

[T]hese sources continually reiterated four beliefs relative to the issues eventually incorporated into the Second Amendment: the right of the individual to possess arms [for self-defense], the fear of a professional army, the reliance on militias controlled by the individual states, and the subordination of the military to civilian control.[402](p.517)

The right to self-defense (and the corresponding right to arms) has long been considered a natural right in the political traditions of Western culture[403] and was affirmed to be one of the rights of Englishmen under the 1689 British Constitution.[404]

Not only is there a long-standing right to self-defense at common law, but the widespread belief in the duty of an individual arms-bearer's participation in the common defense dates back beyond the Middle Ages.[405] Prior to the Norman Conquest, citizens of England (p.518)were legally obligated to keep and bear privately owned arms to ensure their preparation in the event that they were called upon to defend their country.[406] Freemen in England served in the "fyrd," a people's militia whose duty it was to defend against invasion, to suppress insurrections, and to perform citizens' arrests.[407] Later, "assizes of arms" were required by English kings.[408] The Assize of Arms of Henry II,[409] issued in 1181, required the whole body of freemen to possess arms.[410] Subsequent assizes expanded the responsibilities of the populace in keeping and bearing their arms for defense against criminals and invaders.[411] This state of affairs rendered a standing army unnecessary for national defense.[412]

The right of resistance also became a component of the right to keep and bear arms in England. In the thirteenth century, the tyranny of King John led to the revolt of his subjects, culminating in the obtrusion of the Magna Carta upon him for his signature.[413] Although the Magna Carta was first won in the battle of Runnymeade, it repeatedly had to be defended with force, as did lesser-known reforms, such as the Provisions of Oxford (1258), which were also reluctantly signed by a king who was confronted with armed force.[414] The first of these rebellions, rebellions that eventually included two full-scale civil wars, began only a few months after the Magna Carta was signed.[415] In 1264 Simon de Montfort led an uprising, known as the Baron's War, against John's son, King Henry III.[416] The uprising involved (p.519)not only knights in armor but also commoners bringing their own weapons to battle.[417] After initial victory, the uprising was eventually defeated.[418] The losers nevertheless carried on resistance from sanctuaries in forests, fens, and castles.[419] The Magna Carta and other reforms, such as the Provisions of Westminster, were finally accepted as binding upon a monarchy which acknowledged that the king himself was subject to the rule of law.[420] Because the people of Wales and Scotland often engaged in armed resistance to the English military, they maintained substantially more autonomy than they would otherwise have enjoyed.[421]

Thomas Jefferson's dictum--"the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants"[422] could be a rough summary of the violent history of medieval England. As Stuart Hays observes: "Thus the right of lawful revolution was born into the constitutional law of England. This is of major import because without the right to revolt there is less reason to preserve the right to bear arms."[423] Great Britain also saw numerous instances of guerrilla or revolutionary uprisings against invading foreign armies, including the guerrilla war of "Wiliken of the Weald" against French invaders in southern England,[424] and the revolt led by William Wallace of Scotland, which, in the long run, secured independence for Scotland against the claims of English monarchs.[425]

Incipient theories of political resistance were advanced by medieval theologians such as Manegold of Lautenbach.[426] The libertarianism of Manegold and others was further shaped during the Protestant (p.520)Reformation by both Lutherans and Calvinists, but especially by the latter. This new "liberation theology" was to undergo a process of refinement during the following centuries, culminating in the English Civil War, the political philosophy of John Locke (on which the Declaration of Independence was later to be largely based), the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and, finally, the American Revolution.[427] The provision regarding the right to keep and bear arms in the Declaration of Rights that issued from the Glorious Revolution is the immediate forebear of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.[428] It was the British government's attempt to seize arms that sparked violent resistance and the beginning of the American Revolution, not only at Lexington and Concord,[429] but also in Virginia.[430]

As can be concluded from our summary, Demacopoulos' assertion that the right to keep and bear arms is "distinctively modern and highly secular" is unadulterated nonsense.  Its roots stem back even to St. Augustine, who wrote that an unjust law is no law at all, laying the ground for the permissability of righteous resistance against such laws, which in turn means that the people must have the appropriate tools of resistance.  Medieval moral theologians simply expanded on it, and in the Orthodox East armed Christians foreceably resisted and in some cases threw off Muslim, Nazi and Communist yokes in accordance with this principle. 

Sadly, however, the lefty "Orthodox" Brahmins who write for Public Orthodoxy seem to specialize in unadulterated nonsense driven by their left-wing ideology and,  increasingly, all the apostasy that naturally goes along with it.  Accordingly, I warn all Orthodox Christians of good faith to steer clear of that faithless and pseudo-scholarly rag.


New to the Blog Roll


Anglican Instructed Mass

What we Catholic Anglicans do in Mass and why we do it.  Thanks to St. Philip's Anglican Church, Blacksburg, VA for providing this video.   See also A Protestant Learns About Anglicanism.


The Anglican Realignment's Formation Problem

Some excerpts from a Facebook discussion on the differences in ethos between Realignment churches such as the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), and the Continuing Anglican churches, such as the Anglican Catholic Church,  Anglican Province of America (APA), Anglican Church in America, Diocese of the Holy Cross, Anglican Province of Christ the King, the Orthodox Anglican Church and others.  Most of these comments came from a fellow who is a layman in the APA but who has obviously spent a great deal of time and energy assessing the ACNA.  I find his analysis to be very incisive.  Bolded emphases are mine:

I think much of it might be this:

ACNA clergy understand that liturgy is tremendously important, and that parishoners need maturity.

American Christianity is almost anti-maturity, it's "outreach on steroids!!" People "on fire for Jesus" to do "outreach" before they've been properly formed.

With fast-fast-fast growth - ACNA can't form its parishioners, and it often has to practically grab folks by the collar and make them Anglican priests in order to grow this fast.

So many turn to continuing Anglican churches for more solidity, for nourishment needed for mature Christians.

And their parishioners don't really understand this and are pushing for stuff they "feel comfortable with" and that they think "will really help us grow." You know, the church growth handbook stuff. I've seen it from up close. Church growth handbook stuff is almost a recipe for a congregation living in perpetual immaturity.

This puts a huge strain on clergy. They have a lot of newbies who want to be Anglican but don't have the discipline yet. The newbies also wanna do the church growth handbook stuff. The congregation is clamoring to the point of insurrection to do the church growth handbook stuff.

The clergy need peace.

They find that with straight plain liturgy and congregations that aren't trying to do 24 million kids' programs and light shows.

It's not a matter of not wanting to save the Communion. They are mostly just tired. There aren't many Anglo-Catholics left.

ACNA badly needs church order and some rest and peace and maturity. Nearly all American churches do. But we think busyness is good and we're kindergarchic and we're immature and we're anti-intellectual. . . .

ACNA would have been spared so much grief if it had generally listened more to the Anglo- Catholics. They are NOT saying to Evangelicals: "swim the Tiber" or "join the ordinariate." They say stuff like: "get mature before you are spread out too thin." "Get to know each other well - collegiality, catholicity." "Don't run around waving your hands in the air yelling 'outreach outreach outreach.' First formation - then quiet, steady, solid outreach that isn't faddish."

nb, I'm super duper low low low church myself.

Or just talk to my bishop, Chandler Holder Jones, see what he has to say to Evangelicals.

It's probably mostly: "Listen to your priest. Don't just read anything you pick up in the Christian book store. Rely on your priest for what you "consume" spiritually in media. The coolest trend might not be what you need for spiritual growth; your priest knows better."

Why aren't Evangelicals saying these things? This is what caused us to get all Word-of-faithy in the first place.

Anglo-Catholics know how to say these things. Very solid, Scriptural advice. . . .

Something in catechesis DOES need to be said. And if they haven't been catechized, yeah - they need to just be told: "Look, you need the catechesis."

And if they are getting mouthy without good reasoning from Scripture, Reason, Tradition: focus on vocation. Their vocation is to learn these things. Learners are often brought off-track by "contributing" to discussions on church order. Not their place, not their vocation.

This can be made pretty clear in a "what we're about" statement. We're not about catering to newcomers; we're about helping our members with spiritual maturity. We have ways of keeping our church in line and not caving into the obsessions with newcomers and newcomer pressure. This is America, it's superficial as yackety yack. We need to do things differently or we'll just become another rootin-tootin Johnny Hotspeaker Church with a light show and a gazillion kid programs, where everyone during the week wonders how come that amayzing feeling they had in church isn't helping at all with kindness, patience, gentleness, self-control. . . .

I think, basically - ACNA got way too close to plain vanilla American Evangelicalism without questioning aspects having to do with language and liturgy. Language is tremendously important, but I hear huge huge mistakes in language from ACNA members - lots of experientialism and sort of "personalizing" everything. You talk about theology, asking about some issue having to do with research - they're like, "what does this mean personally for you?" - when maybe the point of the research has more to do with helping someone ELSE. It's like everything is some kind of devotional. This leads to thorough-going subjectivism and makes it difficult for clergy to appreciate that theology is important. Theology is sort of relativized to a devotionally experientially feely thing.

Worship hasn't been evaluated. Enormous gaps in the understanding, and almost adamant against speaking about it. Almost unable to comprehend that there can be a theology of music or that worship is more than "subjective" or "preference."

Aesthetic relativism. You talk about worship, if you don't say "preference preference" - they don't want to talk to you.

This is not the case in my APA parish.

There is a lot to be learned, one can be formed - just by going to a congregation doing plain, straight prayerbook worship without a lot of noise or tra la la's. If you don't like the bells and smells - go to a service without these. I don't give a flying fahita if they're there or not. I am low church, very very low church, but I "do not go" into territory if there just isn't any good theology for what's being done, and no interest in doing that theology. Then it's dangerous territory for me, priests should see I'd likely take away from the "feeling" of people emoting and such and even speaking about "the worship" is dangerous ground with me in the mix. So I can't help so I just don't go. But then I get all these people angry "he's not going to church." Go figure.

I wish all ACNA clergy would send their parishioners a few times a year to any church that just does plain straight liturgy and tell them: "look, these are people who didn't do the aesthetic relativism thing and actually know how to think about worship. We do what people like, they do what people need. Go there a bit to get mature and come back and we can ... well ya know ... try to figure stuff out."

I think a lot of ACNA priests are more or less blinded to the importance of the WAY we worship from all the busy-busy foisted upon them by relatively unformed, noisy people who think they know lots of great stuff from what they were implicitly taught in other churches.

I wish all ACNA priests had more rest, more collegiality, more time to worship together, more time to seriously contemplate what it is that people do when they come together and worship. . . .

(An interlocutor comments: "The main thing that irks me about the recent ACNA Provincial Assembly is that not one service was traditional Anglican worship. Not even close.")

I didn't watch it, I knew it would make me sad. I can only take so much.

What's going to happen to the quiet, prayerful, scholarly types we need to help America with so many of her problems?

They'll bolt out - "join us lot." But we're not organized, we don't have cathedral type resources necessary for good scholarship. We don't have the community potential which is necessary for good scholarship. Good scholarship always depends on community in some way - and it helps tremendously if it's Christian community which is worshiping properly.

I don't want the scholars "with us," I want them where they can be effective. BUT - they aren't going to be effective if their pastors won't talk to them unless they are "getting into the worship" AND doing all the nicey Evangelically type thingies that the people expect of them.

There's no place for them outside.




What Must It Have Been Like. . .

to worship in Hagia Sophia?


Anglicanism: Protestant or Patristic?

Bucket list item: to read through Schaff's 38 volumes of the Church Fathers before I die. I have read a number of selections of the Fathers, but now I'm keen on the chronology, because I want to discern in detail the development of the Catholic Faith.

I bought the set from a friend some years ago for $100. I'm on Vol. 1, just about to finish St. Justin Martyr and to move on to St. Irenaeus. (I've read the Apostolic Fathers, so I'm skipping them.) And while I know that Ter...tullian and Origen are important figures, for me Vol.5 - Hippolytus and Cyprian - is where it seems to all come together, followed by the establishment of the orthodox, catholic faith in the 4th century.

The early Church Fathers are far so removed from us in terms of place, time and circumstance, but you can certainly tell when you read them that they are ours and that we are theirs.

Anglicanism: Protestant or Patristic? If you claim the former, fare ye well. If you claim the latter, well, that's what what all parties of Anglicans claimed. They can't all be right. I personally think the early English Reformers missed the mark, being too enamored of Reformed theology.. If you claim both, well, there is a case to made for that, though the devil is in the details.


The Eternal Liturgy vs. Contemporary Worship 


Real Presence: The Eucharistic Primitivism of the Scottish Liturgy of 1764 

See this summary at Anglican Eucharistic Theology.  It was certainly a providential turn of events, in my humble estimation, when the Scottish Eucharistic rite made it's way into the American prayer book.  As this article notes, "The insertion of these ten words in effect undid Cranmer's (Calvinistic) theology that the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving was restricted to words and sentiments in prayer."  From the article's summary paragraphs:

The Scottish Communion Office of 1764 presents a moderate realist view of both eucharistic presence and sacrifice.  The sign is associated with the signified in terms of both the eucharistic offering and the eucharistic presence of Christ.  Moderate realism is affirmed throughout the liturgy.

The influence of The Scottish Communion Office of 1764 has been substantial in Anglican liturgical development.  Ronald Jasper argues that the 1764 liturgy “marked a watershed in Anglican liturgical history” (Jasper, 1989: 36) since it gave approval to liturgical services based on primitive models.  This development has come to be the norm in modern liturgical development.  The 1764 liturgy also marked the beginning of a new family of eucharistic rites based more on the model of the 1549 BCP, rather than the 1662 BCP.  This idea of different families of eucharisitic liturgies based on either the model of 1549 or 1662 has also been affirmed by Massey Shepherd (1955) and Jasper and Cuming (1987) who along with Ronald Jasper argue that some provinces of the Anglican Communion (e.g. the United States of America, the Episcopal Church of Scotland and the Anglican Church of Southern Africa) follow the 1549 model, while others (e.g. the Church of England, the Anglican Church of Australia and the Church of Ireland) have traditionally followed the 1662 model.  In recent times many of these differences have begun to disappear with provinces such as Australia and England adopting liturgies based on more primitive models and reflecting 1549 (e.g. A Prayer Book for Australia, 1995 and Common Worship, 2000).  A process of liturgical convergence has occurred throughout the Anglican Communion, with the 1764 Scottish Communion Office remaining a seminal influence and watershed in this development. 


E.J. Bicknell on the History of Subscription to the Thirty-Nine Articles

One will encounter Anglicans of a specific stripe, J.I. Packer for instance, who argue that the 39 Articles are in essence a confession of faith, almost equal in importance to the Nicene Creed, if not of equal importance.  Here Bicknell belies that notion, and provides us with a clear warrant not only to interpret the Articles in light of the prayer book, and not the other way around, but to subordinate them to the much earlier and weightier authorities of the Creed and the Fathers.  Note the bolded emphases:

Up to 1571 subscription was required only of members of Convocation.  The Queen had not allowed the Articles to be submitted to Parliament.  But the open breach with Rome in 1570 and the Pope’s excommunication of the Queen obliged her to turn to Parliament in order to strengthen her hands.  In 1571 an Act was passed requiring that everyone under the degree of a Bishop who had been ordained by any form other than that set forth by Parliament in the reign of Edward VI, or the form in use under Elizabeth, should subscribe “to all Articles of Religion, which only concern the confession of the true Christian faith and the doctrine of the Sacraments.”  This was aimed at men ordained under Mary.  Further, in future no one was to be admitted to a benefice “except he ... shall first have subscribed the said Articles”.  The Act was ingeniously drawn up in the interests of the Puritans.  By the insertion of the word “only” subscription was made to include no more than the doctrinal Articles: the Articles on discipline were evaded.  However, in 1571, after the final revision by Convocation, Convocation on its own authority required subscription to all the Articles in their final form.  This was enforced by the Court of High Commission, though at times with less strictness.  In 1583, Archbishop Whitgift provided a form of subscription included in the Three Articles. All the clergy were to subscribe to these.  The first asserted the Royal Supremacy.  The second contains an assertion of the Scripturalness of the whole Prayer-book and a promise to use the said book and no other in public worship.  The third runs “That I allow the Book of Articles of Religion agreed upon by the Archbishops and Bishops of both provinces and the whole Clergy in Convocation holden at London in the year of our Lord God 1562 and set forth by Her Majesty’s authority and do believe all the Articles therein contained to be agreeable to the Word of God.”  In this way subscription was once more strictly enforced.  In 1604 the Three Articles received the authority of Convocation, being embodied after small alteration in the Canons of 1604 and ratified by the King.  The actual form ran: “I ... do willingly and ex animo subscribe to these three articles above mentioned and to all things that are contained in them.”  This form remained in force in spite of various attempts to relax the stringency of it.  In practice the form usually employed ran: “I ... do willingly and from my heart subscribe to the 39 Articles of Religion of the United Church of England and Ireland, and to the three Articles in the 30th Canon, and to all things therein contained.”  In 1865, as the result of a Royal Commission, Convocation obtained leave from the Crown to revise the Canons.  A new and simpler declaration of Assent was drawn up by the Convocations of Canterbury and York and confirmed by royal letters patent.  Today the candidate for ordination is required to subscribe to the following: “I ... do solemnly make the following declaration, I assent to the 39 Articles of Religion and the Book of Common Prayer and of ordering of Bishops Priests and Deacons.  I believe the doctrine of the Church of England therein set forth to be agreeable to the Word of God and in public prayer and administration of the Sacraments I will use the form in the said book prescribed and none other, except so far as shall be ordered by lawful authority.”  Two points need to be noted.

      (i) The Church has demanded subscription to the Articles from the clergy and the clergy only.  The fifth Canon of 1604 at most demands from the laity that they shall not attack them.  If other bodies such as the Universities have in earlier days required subscription from their members, they were responsible for the requirement, and not the Church.

      (ii) The change of language in the form of subscription was deliberate.  We are asked to affirm today, not that the Articles are all agreeable to the Word of God, but that the doctrine of the Church of England as set forth in the Articles is agreeable to the Word of God.  That is, we are not called to assent to every phrase or detail of the Articles but only to their general sense.  This alteration was made of set purpose to afford relief to scrupulous consciences.†  (A Theological Introduction to the Thirty-Nine Articles of of the Church of England, pp. 20-21.  Bolded emphases mine.)


Becoming a Prayer Book Family

Before we had children, when we had just started attending an Anglican church, I remember telling my husband that in the Book of Common Prayer there were words big enough and strong enough for all of life — birth, death, and everything between.

I grew up with only extemporaneous prayer, where I would grasp for original words that would inevitably prove weak. So, as we encountered the Anglican tradition, I found the Word of Christ dwelt in me richly through the rhythmic and f...itting prose of the 1928 Prayer Book. I found rituals that highlighted the sacramentality of normal life. I found myself drawing closer to Christ as I followed Him through the path of the Church Year.

This Prayer Book spirituality was very different than the type of spirituality I had grown up with. Instead of a constant inward look, I was looking to shape my soul according to something I found outside of myself. Instead of only focusing on my personal relationship with Christ, through the Prayer Book, I was joining with the Church Militant and Triumphant in the communal work of prayer.

Read the rest here.


"We Are The Resistance"

A must read from Rod Dreher on how some young Spanish Catholics are going about implementing the Benedict Option in their corner of the world.   Don't miss this one. 

And if you haven't read John Senior, read John Senior.


Why Is It Your Business How Other People Worship 

In our contemporary situation, when many professing Christians make their tenuous or downright nonexistent church affiliation a point of pride because their “spirituality” is personal, private, and “between me and God,” we need a robust liturgical theology to stop the bleeding. We need a worship reformation. You cannot serve Jesus faithfully while continually forsaking his church. True liturgical worship is evidence of this. Called out of the highways and byways, we gather. We listen to the Word proclaimed in the community, we hear the communal invitation to Table and together we are fed.

And then we’re sent out, the body of Christ like a burning coal on our lips and in our stomachs, and we begin to see things just a little bit differently. Like the body and blood of our Savior, we are fractured and poured out for the world around us.

Dear brothers and sisters, this is why liturgical worship is not a matter of conscience. It’s not a matter of preference or comfort. Liturgy is the life and breath of the church. It is where we are made ready for our mission as Christ’s hands and feet.

The ancient standard holds true: Lex orandi, lex credendi. As we worship, so we believe. The church’s mission is at stake here. That’s why I write, and why I keep on writing about this. It’s why I won’t simply stay quiet.

The church’s worship is my business, and it is yours, too.


Read the whole article by Jonathan Aigner here.